We’ve been friends and fans of Asha Dornfest, and her brilliant website Parent Hacks, for a full decade, since we both got started at the very same time. In fact, if you click that link, you’ll see we first touted the brilliance of her site back in April of 2006 (wow!) referring to it as the antidote to the disappointing Dr. Expert parenting book that everyone raved about.
Over that time, Parent Hacks grown to be such a helpful resource for millions of parents that, at long last, Asha has compiled the best of the best of 10 years of parent-generated tips in a new must-have parenting book. Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids presents dozens of brilliant tips in a fun, conversational, and very organized way, all charmingly illustrated by Craighton Berman.
“Genius” is not an overstatement for the hacks you’ll find in the book, by the way. In fact, I’d say it’s the freshest, most exciting, and most helpful parenting tips book to come around in a long time.
Pressing baby clothes with a flat iron? Using press-n-seal wrap to protect your car upholstery? Covering hotel outlets with Band-Aids? A trick for cleaning up glitter without going batsh*t crazy?
Yes, yes, yes, and most definitely YES!
To be sure, a lot of the parenting tips are geared toward the newly pregnant or newly parental, which is when you need them most. And there’s a strong theme of frugality that runs throughout the book, which is what differentiates “hacks” from mere “tips.” But the ideas here are not nutty frugal, from what I’ve read.
I mean, I’m not the type who dries out and reuses paper towels, but I am the type who would have been more eco-sensible with our used baby wipes containers instead of just tossing them.
One of the things I really like about the book is that even the tips you probably have already heard somewhere (cabbage leaves for relieving engorgement) are given new life (they relieve swollen feet too!) thanks to the savvy parents who suggested them.
Of course there may be a few hacks in Parent Hacks that you don’t agree with — I really like the suggestion to use glow sticks as travel night lights, but I’d add the caveat to keep it out of the bed unless your kid is old enough not to chew on one. But then, part of what has always made the Parent Hacks website comment section so fun are the sometimes passionate debates that ensue…that then lead to even more useful hacks being shared.
Hack it forward, parents!
Over all, the Parent Hacks book offers a ton of ingenuity delivered with a nod to the sometimes hilarious, if trying, realities of parenting, making it a truly valuable resource. And that’s why I think this book will be a gift to anyone who reads it — whether you’re brand new to parenting or a battle-tested vet with the clothing stains (and leftover wipes containers) to prove it.
Find Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids on our affiliate Amazon or look for it in your local indie bookstore. Also be sure to check out Asha’s other book we highly recommend, Minimalist Parenting, co-authored by Christine Koh, which was our 2013 must-read parenting book of the year. We sense a pattern!